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We're Talking About Practice

Sep 27, 2013

STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford officially kicks off the 2013-14 campaign this weekend, conducting its first organized practice of the season on Saturday morning in the Arrillaga Gymnasium.

The Cardinal returns to its late afternoon practice time slot next week, with just over one month of preparation before an exhibition against Seattle Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 2, tips off the year.

Here are a few items to keep in mind as the regular season approaches:

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Two days after reporting to campus last week, the Cardinal participated in an on-campus team-building regimen led by Dr. Stephen M. Erle, Training Director of SEAL Training Adventures and Brett Hess, a US Navy SEAL with 12 years of active service.

The Cardinal spent the afternoon taking part in basic Boot camp drills, answering to commands, learning proper techniques for standing, turning and crawling, along with water confidence drills among others. Players were assigned “swim buddies,” reinforcing the importance of staying accountable to a teammate. In addition to being extremely challenging on a physical level, the regimen was primarily designed to test the mental toughness of each player.

“I was curious to see how guys communicated with each other under duress,” said sports performance coach Juan Pablo Reggiardo, who took part in the workout along with assistant coach Tim O’Toole and director of operations Jeff LaMere. “Put guys in a different situation that is uncomfortable, physically taxing, maybe even painful and see how they react. How would it translate to a game situation, if we’re losing or guys are tired? If a guy isn’t taking care of his responsibility on the court, are other guys being supportive and holding him accountable? I was impressed with how well we kept pushing through. What I hope they got out of it was they can push through a great deal of discomfort both physically and mentally.”

“It was definitely one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said senior Josh Huestis. “There were many times during the day I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep going. All I wanted to do was quit. But I was able to push on and I think that lesson stuck with every single person on our team.”

“You have the whole team doing it with you, one guy to your left and another guy to your right,” said junior Chasson Randle. “You have to keep each other up and accountability was stressed. For me, I’m not a great swimmer so that was tough. But I had Aaron (Bright) right there with me, and he was encouraging me the whole way through.”

Here’s a quick snapshot of the afternoon.

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Freshmen guards Malcolm Allen and Marcus Allen will be only the fourth set of twins to play varsity basketball at Stanford since 1960. The Allens, who hail from Las Vegas, Nev., and prepped at Centennial High School, celebrated their 19th birthday two weeks ago before arriving on campus.

Twin seven-footers Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial HS) played two seasons together before both were selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. All-Americans Jarron Collins and Jason Collins (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS) also both went on to play in the NBA after successful four-year stints on The Farm that included an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1998.

Twins Don Clemetson and Doug Clemetson (Richmond, Calif./Harry Ellis HS) competed on Stanford’s varsity squad from 1960-62 after playing together on the freshman team the previous season. Also, Warren Greene and Warner Greene (Mesa, Ariz./Westwood HS) did not participate at the varsity level but were teammates on the freshman team in 1967-68.

Both Malcolm and Marcus describe their opportunity to play with each other in college as “a blessing” and are quick to point out Stanford’s rich tradition of twins. They are extremely athletic and like to dig in defensively.

So how will fans be able to tell them apart?

Marcus: “He has that quick jump shot, really just gets it up there so quick. But I’m probably a little more physical with being able to absorb body contact.”

Malcolm: “Offensively, he has me on the one-dribble pull-up and probably finishes a little better. I feel like I can get lower in a stance, really slapping my feet and getting after it on defense.”

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Dwight Powell made the most of his playing experience during the summer, leading Canada to a fourth-place finish at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. In addition to starting seven of Canada’s eight contests, Powell averaged 12.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 61.9 percent (39-63) from the field and playing just under 18 minutes per game.

Just before the World University Games, Powell anchored Canada to a sweep of the Four Nations' International Invitational Tournament played in three different cities in China. The 11-day competition saw Canada finish with a 9-0 record while registering three victories apiece against United States, Latvia and China.

Powell proved to be one of the squad’s most productive players, especially impressive considering Canada boasts a deep roster that also featured Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Pangos, along with Baylor's Brady Heslip.

What were your biggest takeaways from the whole experience?
“It was a great experience. It’s good to see those guys and learn about the programs they come from and the skill sets they have. Not to mention the high-caliber competition that we saw in both China and Russia. Just to see how those other countries compete and their different styles of play. Different styles of officiating and tempo. It’s great to be exposed to those things because we may not experience that here in college. Being able to say that you can perform in those environments, really lends itself to positive things here even though we may not encounter those challenges.”

How helpful were the early games in China to get acclimated with each another?
“For us, it was very important and just another great experience overall. I had never been to China. We played a very high level of competition there so it wasn’t just a trip. We were there to build and become accustomed to playing with each other. During our time there, we were able to mix in different offensive sets and rotations. Defensively, maybe we weren’t all on the same page when we first got there, but by the end, it became second nature. It was as if we had been playing with each other for a long time.”

You canned three-pointers at an impressive 45.5 percent clip last year, but did not attempt a single shot from beyond the arc during the World University Games run.
“We had some great three-point shooters on that team and my focus was to play to my biggest strengths. That meant finishing inside and playing within the offense. We were playing with a very short shot clock, so we would get into our offensive sets very quickly. It was great to play at that tempo. So I was mainly focusing on my strengths and trying to contribute in the best way possible.”

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Powell wasn’t the only Cardinal player competing at the international level this summer.

Rosco Allen guided Hungary to a semifinal finish at the U20 European Championship Division B tournament held in Pitesti, Romania, during mid-July. Allen, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, before arriving to the United States in sixth grade, was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 14.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game through eight contests.

Allen, who shot 45.5 percent (51-112) from the field overall, finished up as Hungary’s leading scorer in four games and produced three double-doubles. In five of the eight games, Allen attempted at least 13 shots, displaying the type of aggressive game the Cardinal coaching staff hopes to see more of this year.

“I did most of my training in Hungary, so I was able to spend time with my grandma, Eva, and family there, which was really awesome,” explained Allen. “Once tournament play started, it was eight games in something like 11 days. We didn’t have any days off; it was just game after game after game. I had not played in Europe in over eight years, so I had to adjust my game a little bit because the style is different. We pushed the ball a lot at first, but then became more structured as the tournament went on. I enjoyed the experience and felt like I grew from it.”

It was also another summer of international playing experience for Stefan Nastic, who was coming off his experience gained at the 2012 FIBA U20 European Championship.

A dual citizen of Serbia and Canada, Nastic competed as a member of the Serbian National Team in Mersin, Turkey, at the XVII Mediterranean Games, a multi-sport, 24-nation event similar to the Olympics. Nastic, who contributed 12 points and five rebounds in a win over Italy in the semifinals, played a key role as Serbia came away with the silver medal.

“I was really pleased with the effort I gave and the experience as a whole was really great on and off the court,” said Nastic, a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree. “Being able to represent your country is a true honor. The event was well-organized and I’m looking forward to doing more with them in the future.”

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Players, coaches and support staff spent the first week back on campus helping freshmen- and a few transfers- move into their dorms in conjunction with NSO (new student orientation).

Two days earlier, rookies Malcolm Allen, Marcus Allen, Schuyler Rimmer and Scott Woods had a chance to get settled into their new digs. So even though they were already familiar with the move-in process, it didn’t stop them from noticing that some of their fellow freshmen had brought along some interesting items. The most random objects?

Malcolm Allen: “Probably an old-school record player. Also, a parent asked me to record footage of the moving process for their son.”
Marcus Allen: “This one guy brought his telescope. Another guy had two big-screen TV’s and a smaller TV. He was planning to use one for video games, one for sports, etc.”
Schuyler Rimmer: “I helped one girl who brought four or five different guitars.”
Scott Woods: “I carried four large bubble-wrapped paintings that were going on someone’s wall.”

Check out how members of the Stanford basketball program helped make move-in day a little easier for everyone.

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You would be hard-pressed to find a better frontcourt tandem in the nation than the big man combo of seniors Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell. Both are poised for monster seasons once again and have displayed the ability to put up crooked numbers in terms of scoring and rebounding totals.

Powell (10) and Huestis (9) were double-double machines last year, combining for 19 total and representing one of five duos nationally to notch at least nine double-doubles apiece. Others to accomplish the feat included Richard Howell (18) and C.J. Leslie (10) of NC State, Isaiah Austin (11) and Cory Jefferson (10) of Baylor, Vander Joaquim (12) and Christian Standhardinger (9) of Hawai’i and Michael Carter-Williams (9) and C.J. Fair (9) of Syracuse.

In fact, prior to a Feb. 27 loss to Colorado, Stanford had received at least one double-double from either Huestis or Powell in eight straight games.

More of the same should be expected in 2013-14. A few notes to keep in mind from last year on both players:

Powell became one of three Stanford players over the last decade to register at least 10 double-doubles, joining Landry Fields (13 in 2009-10) and Matt Haryasz (10 in 2005-06).
Scoring and rebounding aside, Powell also excelled from the foul line (79.6 percent) and three-point range (45.5 percent). He totaled 72 assists, 39 blocks and 26 steals.
Just how much did Powell improve? During the 2011-12 campaign, Powell averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while scoring in double figures six times.
Huestis was especially dominant on the offensive glass. His 111 offensive rebounds were the most for a Stanford player since Adam Keefe’s 134 during the 1991-92 campaign.
Just like Powell, Huestis continued to develop into a perimeter threat. Huestis made 33.8 percent from three-point range, with his 26 triples ranking fourth on the team.
Only three Stanford players boast career marks of at least 500 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks: Huestis (617, 539, 121), Tim Young (1544, 1070, 167) and Howard Wright (1599, 860, 121).

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Pac-12 Media Day is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Pac-12 Enterprises Studio in San Francisco. The conference preseason media poll will be announced at this time. Players and coaches in attendance will conduct interviews with local and national media while also participating in activities.

Head coach Johnny Dawkins and senior Dwight Powell will represent Stanford at the event.

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Annual academic recognition has become a program staple during head coach Johnny Dawkins’ tenure.

Back in March, Stanford totaled the most Pac-12 All-Academic selections (7) of any conference school for the fourth consecutive season. The Cardinal has also produced 54 all-time All-Academic selections, the most of any conference school since the award's inception in 1985-86.

Andy Brown, John Gage, Robbie Lemons, Stefan Nastic and Dwight Powell were also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court, which recognizes juniors or seniors maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.

In Powell’s case, he was the only player to earn a spot on both the Pac-12 All-Academic Team and All-Pac-12 First Team.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of storylines involving Cardinal players excelling in the classroom. Some recent updates:
Senior John Gage, who just last week passed the GRE, has five units left toward his economics degree and will be applying to the Management Science & Engineering co-term in October.
One year after serving on the Executive Committee of Cardinal Council, junior Jack Ryan is back as President/Co-Chair of the organization. He was also influential in the production of the inaugural STANNYS student-athlete award show last May.
Junior Wade Morgan recently returned from New York, where he attended a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) conference designed to offer career development opportunities to minority talent for top graduate business schools and many of the nation’s premier corporations.
Senior Andy Brown is completing coursework toward a Master’s in Communication, likely finishing up next spring. Brown, who will miss the year due to a fourth ACL tear, received his undergraduate degree in Communication back in June. The coaches are crafting a role for Brown that will maximize his reputation as a strong team leader.

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Season ticket packages and mini-plans are available for purchase, affording fans multiple options to see the Cardinal take on their choice of opponents from the 17-game home schedule.

For the most complete information, visit the Basketball Central page.

To buy tickets now, click here.

The five-game “You Pick ‘Em” plan allows fans to choose two of the three marquee matchups against California (Jan. 2), Arizona (Jan. 29) and UCLA (Feb. 22) along with any three of the Cardinal’s remaining home regular-season contests featuring such teams as Bucknell (Nov. 8), BYU (Nov. 11), Northwestern (Nov. 14) and Washington (Jan. 18).

Meanwhile, there has been considerable interest in the “Family Flex Plan”, which offers families a great option to make it out to a game with 10 adult and 10 youth general admission flex tickets, valid at any game all season long, available for $149.

It’s a plan that works real well for one family in particular, as shown below.

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This year’s loaded schedule- one of the best in recent memory- features 17 home games at Maples Pavilion, nine contests against NCAA Tournament teams from last season and a pair of trips to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The challenging non-conference slate includes a neutral-site matchup against 2013 NCAA runner-up Michigan and the start of a home-and-home series against Connecticut. Home games against BYU and Bucknell, along with a potential tournament matchup against Pittsburgh in the Progressive Legends Classic, will provide the Cardinal with an opportunity to quickly establish a high RPI before Pac-12 competition gets underway during the first week of January.

Dec. 14 represents the only doubleheader on the schedule. Stanford hosts UC Davis at 5 p.m., following the Stanford-Gonzaga women’s game at 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Feb. 22 contest against UCLA has been identified as one of two options on ESPN’s College GameDay schedule. Also in consideration on that Saturday is Arizona at Colorado, with the decision to be finalized two weeks prior to the game. If selected for College GameDay, Stanford will host UCLA at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. If not selected, the Cardinal and Bruins will square off at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

Included among the 17 home games is a Nov. 2 exhibition against Seattle Pacific, which last year finished ranked No. 2 nationally in Division II.

Complete Schedule | Non-Conference Opponent Breakdown | Television Information

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Two number changes to note, as sophomore Rosco Allen has switched from No. 12 to No. 25, which was previously worn by Tony Giovacchini (1998-2002).

Redshirt junior Elliott Bullock is working on his third uniform, becoming the first player to wear No. 44 since Fred Washington (2003-08). Bullock donned No. 40 for his first two seasons prior to a two-year absence as he completed a Mormon mission in Houston, Texas. Bullock then wore No. 51 last year.

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For the 12th straight year in 2012-13, a different player led Stanford in scoring.

Dwight Powell closed out the campaign with a team-best 15.7 points per game, following Chasson Randle (13.8 ppg in 2011-12), Jeremy Green (16.7 ppg in 2010-11), Landry Fields (22.0 ppg in 2009-10), Anthony Goods (16.2 ppg in 2008-09), Brook Lopez (19.3 ppg in 2007-08), Lawrence Hill (15.7 ppg in 2006-07), Matt Haryasz (16.2 ppg in 2005-06), Dan Grunfeld (17.9 ppg in 2004-05), Josh Childress (15.7 ppg in 2003-04), Julius Barnes (16.0 ppg in 2002-03) and Casey Jacobsen (21.9 ppg in 2001-02).

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Special thanks to Sidney Gomez and Nick Cacharelis.